Sunderland are absolutely flying at the moment.
The Black Cats have won five of their last six with Lee Johnson having got his side on a roll heading into the business end of the 2020/21 campaign.
New owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus seems to have made some smart changes at the club already, so there’s a huge amount to be positive about for supporters of the Stadium of Light outfit.
They’re a great club with a storied history and will no doubt be keen to get back up the English footballing pyramid as soon as they can.
Black Cats fans will have to wait until Tuesday for their next game, so to keep them going until then we’ve highlighted three facts that you may never have known about the club…
They only officially became the Black Cats in 1997 but the links run deep
Sunderland are now well known as the Black Cats but despite the nickname having long links to the club, that wasn’t always officially the case.
During their time at their former home Roker Park, the club was known as the Rokerites but when they moved to their current ground, the Stadium of Light, in 1997 a change was made.
One of the gun batteries on the river Wear was known as the Black Cat Battery due to the legend of Joshua Dunn and that in term led to a black cat featuring on the club’s first badge after they adopted their now signature red-and-white stripes.
There are further links as well. In the 1960s, a black cat made its home at Roker Park and was informally adopted by the club, while a Sunderland fan also claimed he snuck a black cat into the 1937 FA Cup final.
So when they moved in 1997, their nickname was changed to the Black Cats.
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They contest the Friendship Trophy with Norwich City
The Friendship Trophy is one of the more unusual bits of silverware contested in English football.
Contested every time the two clubs play a competitive game, it dates back to the 1985 Football League Cup final when there was a camaraderie between the two sets of fans.
Norwich have won 14 of the 28 meetings but Sunderland are the current holders, having won the Championship tie between the two 3-1 in August 2017.
They won the 1895 Championship of the World title match against Hearts
Whatever Johnson’s side achieve this term, it won’t stack up against the 1895 season, which saw the Black Cats named champions of the world.
After winning the English league title that year, Sunderland took on Scottish champions Hearts in a game billed as the ‘Championship of the World’ title match.
It was a comprehensive victory for the side from south of the border, who won 5-3 and subsequently became champions of the world.